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minimising herpes risk from erotic massage

Hi, I like getting erotic body-to-body massages (without penetrative sex) sometimes, and I wanted to clarify my risk for herpes from skin-to-skin contact, since I know condoms don't eliminate risk and that you can transmit herpes even when there's no active outbreak. From what I read, there could be a risk of herpes transmission (hsv1 or hsv2) when the genital regions rub up against each other, i.e. grinding or frottage while both people are naked.

But is there any risk from body-to-body massage with the following activities?
--the masseuse is naked but I'm wearing boxers, or if I'm naked but the masseuse is wearing panties?

--we're both naked but she only slides up and down on my buttocks area while I'm on my front (I know the area right around the anus can present a transmission risk, but what about the ass cheeks? I read that you can get herpes blisters on the buttocks, but buttocks skin is thick and not a mucuous membrane, so I'm confused)

--face-sitting and licking/sniffing while the masseuse has her panties on (is there a risk that some vaginal fluid can seep through thin material and give me oral herpes?)

--handjobs (I know handjobs aren't risky, but what if the masseuse has fingered herself and then touches your genitals, is this still zero risk because herpes is skin-to-skin, or can it be transmitted in fluids?)

--kissing or sucking the masseuse's breasts/nipples?

Thanks for your time.
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207091 tn?1337709493
COMMUNITY LEADER
But is there any risk from body-to-body massage with the following activities?
--the masseuse is naked but I'm wearing boxers, or if I'm naked but the masseuse is wearing panties?

No, herpes doesn't go through clothing. If one or both of you have underwear on, there is no risk.

--we're both naked but she only slides up and down on my buttocks area while I'm on my front (I know the area right around the anus can present a transmission risk, but what about the ass cheeks? I read that you can get herpes blisters on the buttocks, but buttocks skin is thick and not a mucuous membrane, so I'm confused)

You're correct - the skin on your butt cheeks is too thick for the virus to penetrate. You can get outbreaks there (it's not the most common area, but it's possible) but you are only infected through mucous membranes.

--face-sitting and licking/sniffing while the masseuse has her panties on (is there a risk that some vaginal fluid can seep through thin material and give me oral herpes?)

It's not spread through vaginal fluid. It's spread by direct unclothed skin to skin contact - mouth to mouth, mouth to genital, genital to genital, or genital to anal.

--handjobs (I know handjobs aren't risky, but what if the masseuse has fingered herself and then touches your genitals, is this still zero risk because herpes is skin-to-skin, or can it be transmitted in fluids?)

Hands don't spread STDs, even with fluids involved. There's too much movement, exposure to air, time, etc. It just doesn't happen.

--kissing or sucking the masseuse's breasts/nipples?

No, unless she has a sore on her breasts. It's possible, but very unlikely that someone would get herpes on their nipples. It's really very rare. Unless you see a sore, I wouldn't even give it a thought. If you see a sore anywhere on someone's body, don't put your mouth or genitals on it, and don't touch it with your body - it's a good rule to live by.
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Thanks for the very clear responses!

Can I ask a couple of follow-ups?

I understand now that my butt cheek skin is too thick for the virus to penetrate.
But I'm still unsure about:
a) inner thighs,
b) scrotum,
c) mons pubis area right above the penis?
Basically I'm wondering which parts on my body (apart from penis and anus) would be at risk to get herpes with naked grinding/frottage if I wear a condom before any contact begins.

Also, re: facesitting, since herpes can show up on her butt cheeks, is there a risk of transmission from me kissing her naked butt cheeks? Or is it the same sort of scenario as kissing breasts (i.e. go ahead if sores aren't visible)?

Thanks once again for your time and for clarifying things for me!
I understand now that my butt cheek skin is too thick for the virus to penetrate.
But I'm still unsure about:
a) inner thighs,
b) scrotum,
c) mons pubis area right above the penis?
Basically I'm wondering which parts on my body (apart from penis and anus) would be at risk to get herpes with naked grinding/frottage if I wear a condom before any contact begins.

Anything that isn't the thin moist skin isn't a risk - your penis and anus are the two areas to be concerned about. The rest is too thick to worry about.


Also, re: facesitting, since herpes can show up on her butt cheeks, is there a risk of transmission from me kissing her naked butt cheeks? Or is it the same sort of scenario as kissing breasts (i.e. go ahead if sores aren't visible)?

Herpes doesn't typically go from the genitals to the mouth like it does from the mouth to the genitals. If you don't see a sore, it should be fine. Oral hsv2 is very rare, so you can be assured that without sores present, it's very unlikely to happen.
Thank you!

I understand but now I’m confused: how come condoms (when worn properly) don’t eliminate the risk for female-to-male HSV transmission during PiV sex? If all the skin in the boxer shorts region other than the penis and anus is too thick, why do people always say that condoms doesn’t stop the risk of transmission?
“We found condoms reduced the per- act risk of [HSV-2] transmission by 65% from women to men and by 96% from men to women”

(e.g. stuff like this I see commonly cited, I just don’t get why the transmission from women to men wouldn’t be closer to 96% rather than 65% if a condom covers the ‘risky’ zone)
From women to men, there is a lot more mucus membrane that can shed the virus, and condoms shift and come off.  Women are far more likely to get herpes from a man than the other way around.

Listen, don't overthink this. If you are in a relationship with a woman who has hsv2, and all you do is avoid sex during outbreaks, you have a 4% chance per year of getting hsv2 a year. (It's 10% for a woman from an infected man.)

Getting hsv2 from a one time protected encounter is really unlikely. It can happen, but it's unlikely.

Are you asking these questions and painfully analyzing the odds because you are going outside a relationship? No judgement, but the people we see asking the really detailed questions like this are either going outside a relationship or have a serious germ-phobia. No one wants herpes, but unless you're having oral or PiV sex, you're not going to get it. The grinding would have to be really vigorous and lengthy.

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